Iceland Mag

10 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Icelanders exercise more than any other Europeans, twice as much as European average

  • Running in Iceland The Nordic countries occupy the five top spots when it comes to the proportion of people who engage in physical activities outside of work. Photo/Hörður Sveinsson.

Icelanders exercise more than any other European nation new figures from the European Statistical Agency Eurostat reveal. Iceland has the highest percentage of residents who exercise and engage in physical activities more than 150 minutes outside of work each week. More than 60% of Icelanders achieve this goal, which is twice the European average.

The World Health Organization advices that people 18 years or older should engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for two and and a half hours per week outside of work. This means that 60.8% of Icelanders meet the WHO minimum guidelines. The European average is just 30.8%.

The second highest proportion in Europe was in Norway, where 56.8% exercise for more than 2.5 hours, followed by the other Nordic countries, Finland (54.1%), Denmark (53.4%) and Sweden (53.1%). The figures include cycling as a form of transportation to and from work. 

Proportion of people engaging in physical activity

Proportion of people engaging in physical activity, by EUROSTAT


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